09:37AM, Thursday 23 November 2017
A school’s transformation has been completed after it was awarded the highest possible rating by Ofsted inspectors.
St Luke’s Church of England School, in Cookham Road, was marked Outstanding in all areas in its latest report, published on Monday.
And the result is made even more impressive, coming almost six years after it was graded Inadequate.
The positives noted by assessors included an ‘inspirational head teacher’, ‘exemplary behaviour’ among pupils and an ‘outstanding’ curriculum.
Current headteacher Amanda Hough was barely two weeks into the job when Ofsted inspectors turned up to complete their damning report in January 2012.
“There was not a level of consistency,” she said about the state of the school when she arrived.
“People were very well meaning, but the focus was on improving attendance so that pupils really wanted to come to school.
“It was about working with what was already in the classrooms and making sure that was
relevant to the pupils.”
And this involved more than just lesson and curriculum planning – it also meant getting her hands dirty and taking on teaching herself.
She added: “With the best will in the world, you can know what changes are required, and that can just be a case of talking the talk.
“For me, it was important to lead from the front as well.”
Leadership was among a long list of positives highlighted in the glowing report, which was said to have helped foster an environment to help pupils thrive – especially ones for whom English is not their first language.
The same was said of youngsters with disabilities or special needs, or those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
However, the report also suggested there were had been missed opportunities to improve learning in some subjects, but that this could be addressed by better planning.
Ms Hough, who taught in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before moving to Maidenhead and who admitted to crying when getting the results of the inspection, said: “It’s fantastic, I always believed we could be better and even after we got our Good [from Ofsted inspectors in 2013] I knew there were elements of Outstanding.
“We have a specific ethos and we teach differently to other schools.”
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